Tag Archives: change

I am very busy and important Issue 11

“Things I kept from the internet” issue 11
2014-2015
iamverybusyandimportant.net
sophie(at)sophiebenjamin.com
I got my issue from: Sticky for $4

Best title: Both are – the name of the zine AND the title for this issue. Anything that claims to be off-limits for the internet?immediately piques my attention. If something needs to be withheld, then I want to read it. The zine screams “too hot for facebook”. Stuff the zinemaker doesn’t want friends to see? I’m in!

Quick’n’dirty: The zine has been put together fast and furiously, or at least that’s how it looks. It’s folded and stapled as an A5 booklet but the layout is on a 90 degree rotation so it’s closer to reading an A4 newsletter format that could have been stapled in the corner rather than through the middle. The manual typewriting feels immediate, has transparent edits, and you can see those photocopier shadows of it all being stuck down. The final two pages are large scrawled handwriting of music listened to while writing the zine and thank-yous.

I am very busy and important, myself: And, because of this, and getting overly excited at the ‘too hot for net’ factor, I picked this zine up on the fly (along with a bunch of others). I got home and realised it was a flimsy 8 page zine that I had unwittingly paid $4 for, with the last two back pages looking suspiciously like filler. Two folded sheets of paper. $4. Was I impressed? No. I was not. Would this fact impinge on my enjoyment of the zine? Yes. It would.

Random: The zinemaker bumps into her ‘first love’ (read, unrequited teen crush, not sure if that classifies) in the city after five years. These are her subsequent reflections. There’s a lot of deep introspection and the zinemaker writes with a brave, candid personal insight as she describes how her once-best-friend in high school changed. How her friend changed from someone she knew and related to (and had a crush on), to someone who assumed a different  name, changed sexual identity, and whose disposition differed. Her best friend becomes a politicised trans guy. The zinemaker calls bullshit on the transformation, dates a dude with  dyed blue hair, and their friendship disintegrates.

Courage: It took a lot of courage to write this zine and acknowledge past insenstitivies. Trans stuff can be challenging and hard core and so delicately ideosyncratic from person to person, friendship to friendship, and all the broader circles of interconnected relationships in families and communities.

I don’t recognise you anymore: The zinemaker and her friend find themselves on the wrong tetonic plates that now move, grind, and press in conflicted directions, leading to a social continental drift. (Do you like that metaphor? I love it). It’s described well. New articulated personalities, frustrations, desires, and pulls of identity create a new unfamiliar landscape of dynamics. Hurt is involved.

Don’t be a jerk: I love how the zinemaker owns her adolescent behaviour, and points out that while we all want to be considered politically astute with superior interpersonal skills, we are not always these things and there’s definitely been some point in our lives where we’ve been unschooled in discrimination and ignorance and perpetuated hurt ourselves. And that it’s okay, because we’re always learning. Cue an Oprah moment.

Closure: So – the zinemaker was able to spend time as an adult with her estranged friend, and while the bond is different there’s respect and common ground. The zine closes on a more recent romantic trans encounter and finishes with a satisfying sense of wisdom and worldliness.

Accidental Polyamory

no contact details
I got my copy from the zinemaker

A personal account of the zinemaker finding herself in a polyamorous relationship with her long time girlfriend and a new mutual girl friend. The zine talks about the experience and what it all means.

Aesthetic: A basic hit-the-ground-running kinda look. It’s all handwritten, roughish layout, simple cut and paste with a found pattern cover and stencilled writing. It’s a zine at it’s most pure and raw.

Not pretentious: Whenever I hear the word ‘polyamory’ I groan because it’s such a ridiculous word (and/or concept). This zine, however, is written simply and isn’t trying to be anything profound or posturing to some some manifesto. It’s just one person’s account of what it’s like to find yourself in a situation for which there’s “no blueprint”. The zinemaker writes about how it all happened, how the new dynamic was negotiated, and how, three months in, it’s going successfully. It’s just a personal ‘so, this happened!’ kinda story.

Repeat, not political: The zinemaker doesn’t feel defined as a polygamous person in the same way that, say, her lesbian-ness defines her. She doesn’t romanticise polygamy or brand it as some awesome brand new lifestyle everyone should check out. Nor does she think polyamorous relationships are inherently radical, but open to flaws and dysfunction as much as anything else.

Curious: Definitely, polyamorous relationships have that mystique about them because they’re not the society norm. And they must surely be emotionally challenging. It would be cool if the zinemaker did a zine revisiting the situation in twelve months time and then, say, 24 months time to see if the new configuration of the relationship is working, if it’s failed, and/or how it’s informed her ideas on relationships generally. I’d love to know the challenges and how you introduce your two girlfriends to your mum. Are there other zines like this about polyamory out there?

This zine could be better if: Nothing. It’s not trying to be anything it isn’t – this is just personal writing, copied and stapled. This is how you make a zine, people. Unmediated. Honest. Perfecto.

-E.P

Tomorrow’s Machine Today #3

Emma D.
http://eternalproject.wordpress.com
PO Box 4 Enmore NSW 2042
I picked up my copy from Sticky instore
price: AU $3
available: http://takecarezines.org

A zine about growing up as a girl, where each important moment is punctuated and informed by music. Starts in childhood and finishes in teenage years.

This zine captures that feeling of: everyone betraying you as they happily develop and evolve into teenagers but you’re somehow left behind, vulnerable and bewildered.

The best part about this zine is: the structure and writing: the zine is condensed into snippets, like mini chapters, memories in time. It’s simple and it works perfectly recalling memories of growing up. Each little moment is consummately written and you feel like you’re there in the backseat of the car yourself.

And what’s even cooler is that as the zinemaker grows up the formats of music change too: from records to cassettes to CDs being ‘the future’. It’s funny to read family arguments debating the future of the music industry from the 90s.

You are the perfect demographic if: your first album was a record, and you owned one of those yellow Sony walkman in the late 80s. You will absolutely love this zine and it will immediately make you think of all the pivotal moments in your own musical growing up. I could completely relate to being considered ‘too young’ to be allowed to operate the record player, the most precious and delicate mechanical instrument in the house. And then the weird contradiction of being presented with your first record as a gift, but needing someone to put it on for you.

You may need to take a chill pill before reading this if: you were the first person to discover Nirvana in the world/ your friendship circles and you felt like you were the only person to genuinely understand them in the world/ your friendship circles and their anti corporate sensibility resonated with your own political impulses. This zine will piss you off, because it’s written by a little sister who discovers Nirvana via her older brother. That’s fine, but she describes it as changing the trajectory of her life, so I was expecting to read something intense. Not so. Being introduced to Nirvana in this context is to be introduced to converse shoes. I’m pretty sure that’s not what grunge was supposed to represent – brand name shoes. Face palm. Was this zinemaker partly responsible for the death of grunge? Can we even be friends, now?

Don’t you hate it when: zines have to obey the multitudes of 4 law and you have too many pages at the end. Hey, only teasing. This is a great zine. The presentation is pretty standard but the writing is what you want it for.

-EP